Title: “Fallen Hero”
Disclaimer: I own not LotR nor the Buffy universe. Wish I did but if wishes were horses...
Andrew was dying.
Blood flaked around his mouth and on his chin. His skin, a deathly pall color, gave his eyes the look of two dimly lit candles, about to be extinguished. Lying in the forest underbrush and looking up into the canopy of leaves, he was feeling cold. Very cold.
He knew he was dying.
He had seen it before.
Comrades lost in battle. Ground lost, ground gained. Fighting demons for a people to weak to defend themselves. This was his life, it was his destiny. All of his life was leading up to this. Andrew had thought about death before, imagined the day. Imagined what his last words would be, hoping that they would be inspiring, full of wisdom. Noteworthy. So powerfully moving, other people would wish that when they died, they would get to say something only a tenth as great as his final last dying words.
He thought there would be more pain. His chest, after all, was riddled with arrows and made every breath a battle. But it was from those three steel pointed wooden shafts that the cold radiated, slowly moving from the center of his body to the tips of his fingers and toes. Strangely comforting.
But Andrew’s mind would not let the comfort wash over him. He had failed in his mission. The world was now doomed. What he had sworn to protect was taken from him, stolen, and he had paid with his life.
It was the feeling of defeat that helped him cling on. He let them all down.
He looked up into the face of his dark-haired friend. Comrade. His champion. It was this face that gave him the words of comfort that eased his burdens in this world and would let him pass on into the next unencumbered. With the eyes that said that he loved him no matter what sins he had accumulated in this life. They had traveled together into the pits of hell and back again, and he knew that this warrior not only had the heart and strength to keep fighting but would fight this battle for the two of them.
With the forest foliage turning grey, Andrew looked into Aragorn’s troubled blue eyes and said, “I would have followed you, my brother … my captain … my king…” And with one last parting breath, he laid still as in death.
Aragorn leaned forward and kissed his forehead in reverence, “Be at peace, son of Gondor.” Gimli and Legolas were standing nearby. Aragorn stood up but the scene paused just as he was about to say something, his face bathed by a patch of sparkling sunlight.
A new figured approached the fallen warrior and sat down beside him. Long red hair, elfin like figure, dressed like she belonged there but not the traditional Middle Earth garb. “Com’ on, Andrew, it is time to go.”
“Just two more minutes. Please, Willow?” he whined out of the side of his mouth, still pretending to be dead.
“Nope, no can do.” Willow responded, using her stern voice, as she started to pull one of the arrows from his chest. “We’ve got to get out of here before I lose hold of this world.”
Andrew winced and moved away quickly. “Ouch! I’ll do that.”
She giggled a little and stood up to get a close up look at Aragorn and then at Legolas. “You know, if they were real, they could make me rethink my position on being bi.”
“Mine too.” he replied, now arrow free and looking more like the Andrew she knew in the outside world. “Thanks Willow. This was the best birthday present ever.”
“Sorry I didn’t have time to buy you anything.”
Andrew shrugged, not surprised most of them had forgotten or didn’t even know his birthday. “Can we not tell Buffy about this? I promised her I wouldn’t jump into fantasy world like I used to.”
“Don’t worry. I don’t think I can ever watch the movie again, let alone actually tell anyone what I had seen here today.” Willow shivered at the memory, knowing that she would never think of the characters in the same way again.
“Can we do this again next year?”
She sighed, dragging him by the arm toward the exit she had installed. “Maybe.”
“And at Christmas?” he asked, his voice taking on a hopeful boyish quality as if just told that Santa might come if he was a very good boy.
“Don’t push your luck.”
~~ The End ~~
Ed. Note: Sorry that the death scene was so over-written but it seemed very Andrew so I kept it that way. Hope you enjoyed.